HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Cuba Is Trumps Most Revea...

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 07:18 AM

Cuba Is Trumps Most Revealing Foreign-Policy Blunder

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/06/cuba-is-trumps-most-revealing-foreign-policy-blunder.html

June 17, 2017 9:20 am
Cuba Is Trump’s Most Revealing Foreign-Policy Blunder
By Daniel Kurtz-Phelan


Of all the steps Donald Trump has taken to undercut Barack Obama’s global legacy, Friday’s speech announcing new restrictions on business and travel in Cuba is hardly the most damaging or dangerous. (For damage, consider withdrawal from the Paris accord; for danger, the combative approach to Iran.) Trump’s partial reversal of the Obama administration’s “bad deal” with Cuba will take us a few steps backward toward a posture that long stood as one of the most glaring failures of American foreign policy, achieving the exact opposite of its intended effect decade after decade. But that approach could last so long, despite nearly universal recognition of its perverse consequences, because the stakes were not, in the scheme of American national-security concerns, especially high.

Still, if not the most damaging or dangerous, the Cuba reversal is in many ways the most revealing of Trump’s moves so far. It brings together all the worst attributes of the administration’s foreign policy: pandering to a narrow and aging but fervent slice of the Republican base; exhibiting a shameless hypocrisy with seedy criminal undertones; and, in its fixation on deal-making, confusing weakness with strength — and as a result, bolstering the very forces that Trump claims to want to counter.

snip//

In this promise to extend American isolation until the Cuban government changes in the ways Washington wants, Trump is embracing the same failed logic that governed U.S. policy for decades. For those in Havana most opposed to democratic change and human rights, U.S.-Cuban engagement is not a reward but a threat. The more the Cuban people can survive without being beholden to the government, the more they can communicate with the outside world (and especially the United States, where many have friends and family), the more deeply connected they are to other societies — the more hard-liners in the government will be under pressure to change. Since Obama’s opening began, repression has not ended. (On the contrary, there was an expectation that certain kinds of repression would increase, as hard-liners in Havana reacted to new challenges.) But many more Cubans now have cell phones and access to internet connections. Most are newly able to freely travel outside of Cuba. Hundreds of thousands have become entrepreneurs and small business owners. Companies like Google and Airbnb have rapidly built a presence on the island, and the number of American travelers has surged. The assumption was never that Cuba would be magically transformed, but that developments like these would foster more profound in change over time, driven by the Cuban people themselves. Trump’s approach promises the opposite. It is in the interest of Cuban hard-liners to keep their people isolated, and Trump is helping them.

During the Obama administration, there was an additional reason for urgency. It was clear that change was coming to the island one way or another, as since underscored by Fidel Castro’s death last November and Raul Castro’s decision to step down in 2018, putting someone other than a Castro in power for the first time in almost 60 years. Better, the thinking went, for Americans — especially Cuban-Americans — to be in a position to influence the course of change than to leave the field to others, especially outside powers and criminal actors drawn by the prospect of a foothold 90 miles from the continental United States. In April, a group of retired American military officers cited that concern (and also the value of U.S.-Cuban co-operation on counterterrorism and trafficking) in a letter to the Trump White House urging a continuation of the Obama policy.

Already, China and Russia are bolstering their economic and military presence in Cuba — increasing trade and investment, signing defense co-operation agreements, even, according to Senator Patrick Leahy, considering new military bases. The more the White House retreats from Obama’s opening, the more space Beijing and Moscow have to step in. That, too, has become a hallmark of Trump’s foreign policy. It may be the closest thing to a coherent Trump Doctrine we’ll ever have.

10 replies, 2823 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cuba Is Trumps Most Revealing Foreign-Policy Blunder (Original post)
babylonsister Monday OP
Blue_Roses Monday #1
Grins Monday #7
mattclearing Monday #8
Achilleaze Monday #2
CousinIT Monday #3
Dustlawyer Monday #6
gademocrat7 Monday #4
NewJeffCT Monday #5
Pluvious Monday #9
Motley13 Monday #10

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 07:24 AM

1. Trump is trying to take us back to the

18th century it seems. He is so clueless as to what is actually going on in this world. He can't stay off twitter long enough to find out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Blue_Roses (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 08:56 AM

7. I used to think it was the golden age of coal....

...but maybe it's actually the age of "King Cotton"?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Grins (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 09:40 AM

8. en route to the Stone Age. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 07:35 AM

2. "...shameless hypocrisy with seedy criminal undertones."

There's you're republican "family values" right there. Not the lollipop & sunshine Bible platitudes they falsely proclaim to the public, but the actual values that guide their actions as evidenced over and over and over.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 08:18 AM

3. His "presidency" is rooted in REVENGE...he will undo EVERYTHING Obama did - NO MATTER WHAT...

....no matter how far back he sets the US diplomatically or economically or socially, and no matter how many people DIE.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CousinIT (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 08:45 AM

6. I believe revenge and pleasing Putin to avoid the criminal charges and blackmail

material Putin could leak on him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 08:33 AM

4. K&R

Chump is a miserable failure.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 08:36 AM

5. Our foreign policy is now to retreat from the world

and give in to Russia and China. We can only deal with 4th and 5th rate powers that Trump can try to bully via Twitter

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 10:09 AM

9. What Putin wants, Putin gets n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 10:59 AM

10. surprising since he probably wants a trump tower there

or maybe it's punishment because Cuba wont allow it


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread